2001 Crowley Clan Gathering - Clonakilty, 21-23 September
By Marian Crowley Chamberlain
A warm West Cork Failte (welcome) was given to Crowleys from the eight countries represented at the 2001 Crowley Clan Gathering, which took place in Clonakilty, September 21 through 23. Taoiseach Charles Crowley started festivities on Friday afternoon with introductory remarks. The clan was then invited to take "Crowley's Walk", a tour of archaeological replications on the farm of Tim and Delores Crowley, followed by a brief slide presentation on Crowley history. The evening concluded with traditional Irish music and stories from a Seanchai - an Irish storyteller.
Saturday started with a bus tour of the Old Head golf course at Kinsale, followed by a visit to a monument dedicated to the survivors of the Lusitania, which was torpedoed off Kinsale in 1915. We then toured the site of the 1601 Battle of Kinsale, the last great battle fought by the Gaelic chieftains. Marching under the Crowley banner, the Clan attended the 400th Anniversary observance of the Battle. Irish president Mary McAleese gave a moving speech, saying the Battle was a bitter failure for the Irish, a triumph for the British and a grandiose but mistaken gesture by the Spanish. Also attending the ceremony was the Spanish ambassador and Prince Andrew of England. At the evening meal at the Pink Elephant restaurant in Kilbrittain, Michael-Patrick Crowley formally launched his book - The Origins and History of the Crowley Clan. The evening concluded with Irish music (performed by Crowley musicians) and singing at Jerry Crowley's pub.
Sunday morning opened with a demonstration of the old sport of road bowling by an All-Ireland champion. We then held a tournament comprised of teams from each country. The USA ultimately prevailed, but the sport will never be the same! In early afternoon Father Dan Crowley of Boston, celebrated Mass at the Carraig an Aifrinn Mass Rock. Father requested prayers for the deceased members of the Clan, as well as those who had perished in the September 11 tragedy. Back at the hotel, Seamus Crowley gave a brief presentation on Crowley history.
Sunday evening, the Clan concluded a memorable weekend with a banquet at the Inchydowney Lodge. Senator Brian Crowley MEP, (Member European Parliament) eloquently presented the keynote address. Brian reminded the Clan of the challenges presented by the events of September 11 and the necessity of meeting difficulties with prudence. The evening ended with dancing and socializing by all 95 Clan members in attendance.
During the banquet, Tom Crowley of Akron, Ohio, USA, was selected as the Taoiseach of the Clan for the next three years. Retiring Taoiseach Charles Crowley presented Tom with the Chain of Office. Liam Crowley, Bandon, County Cork, was selected as the new Tanaiste.
New members on the Clan Committee are
Betty Lordan of Birmingham, England,
Tim Crowley of Clonakilty, and
Johnny Crowley of Bantry.
They join current members Liam Crowley (Tanaiste) and former Taoisigh Dr. Sean Crowley (1986-1989), John Crowley (1989-1992), Kitty Horgan (1992-1995), Flor Crowley (1995-1998), and Charles Crowley (1998-2001). Also on the committee are Gerry Crowley, Larry Crowley and Anne Crowley.